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What causes torticollis?

Torticollis may occur without known cause (idiopathic), be genetic (inherited), or be acquired secondary to damage to the nervous system or muscles. It may develop in childhood or adulthood. Congenital torticollis (present at birth) may be caused by malpositioning of the head in the uterus, or by prenatal injury of the muscles or blood supply in the neck. The nerve signals responsible for torticollis are thought to originate in the basal ganglia, a group of brain structures involved in movement control. The exact defect is unknown. Some cases of dystonia are due to the inheritance of a defective gene, whose function was unknown as of mid-1998. Other cases are correlated with neck or head trauma, such as from an automobile accident. Use of certain antipsychotic drugs, or neuroleptics, can induce dystonia.

More information on torticollis

What is torticollis? - Torticollis is a type of movement disorder, in which the muscles controlling the neck cause sustained twisting or frequent jerking.
What's spasmodic torticollis? - Spasmodic torticollis is a form of dystonia characterized by intermittent spasms of the neck muscles resulting in involuntary rotation and tilting of the head.
What causes torticollis? - Congenital torticollis may be caused by malpositioning of the head in the uterus, or by prenatal injury of the muscles or blood supply in the neck.
What're the symptoms of torticollis? - Torticollis develops gradually. Torticollis may cause permanent facial deformity if it is not resolved in the first year.
How is torticollis diagnosed? - Diagnosis of torticollis is aided by an electrical study (electromyography) that can detect overactive muscles.
What's the treatment for torticollis? - Treatment of congenital torticollis involves stretching the shortened neck muscle. Drug treatments include anticholinergic drugs (baclofen).
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